Must see documentaries to understand water issues:
- “The Story of Bottled Water” – This film has spread like wildfire since premiering in March, and for good reason. In the film, director Annie Leonard and her troupe of stick figures share staggering facts about bottled water’s impact on our environment. You’ll never look at that bottle the same way again.
- “Tapped” – Tapped focuses on the ugly truth behind the “big business” of bottled water. The film also delves in the impact bottled water has on our own health, and discusses the danger existing in BPA and other chemicals that have been found in some plastic bottles.
- “FLOW: For Love of Water” – The award-winning documentary investigates the many ways that water is being privatized across the globe. The film is also a call-to-action, urging its viewers to stand up for their right to clean water.
- “Thirst” – Thirst investigates the privatization of water. The film follows grassroots initiatives in India, Bolivia and Stockton, California as activists unite against the global water privatization.
- “The Water Front” - If you think that water issues primarily apply to third-world countries, think again. The citizens of Highland Part, Michigan are also fighting to keep their water from being privatized. With residents of the city receiving water bills as high as $10,000, you can understand why the film begs the question: “What if you lived by the largest body of fresh water in the world but could no longer afford to use it?”
- “PBS series: Journey to Planet Earth” – A common thread runs throughout all the programs – the necessity to achieve a balance between the needs of people and the needs of the environment. Loss of farmland to urban development, the pollution of the Earth’s rivers, inadequate housing and water resources for those living in the world’s mega-cities — these are just some of the topics covered in Journey to Planet Earth.
- “Water Voices” - This seven-episode set highlights the way the water crisis affects everday life in Bangladesh, Cambodia, Fiji, India, Kiribati, Philippines, Thailand, and Tonga. Watch as a community joins together to rescue a coral reef in Fiji, as women in India fight shortages by finding new ways to transport water, and as a handful of other men, women, and children stand up to claim enough clean, safe water for themselves and their neighbors.
- “Blue Gold: World Water Wars” - For centuries, wars have been fought over precious commodities from all over the world — though, so far, water hasn’t been one of them. But according to Blue Gold: Water Wars, that’s all about to change as political, economic and social movements make water a limited resource in more and more international regions. The film takes viewers through the causes of the water crisis–mining, pollution, wetland destruction–and blocks out the potential effects of a water shortage. For an informative look at all parts of the problem, make sure it’s on your list of must-sees.
- “Running Dry” - The 2005 film Running Dry took its cues from Senator Paul Simon’s book Tapped out: The Coming World Crisis in Water and What We Can Do About It– and was so well-received that it inspired the Senator Paul Simon Water Act for the Poor, which allocates government funding to provide clean, safe water in areas that otherwise wouldn’t have it. Narrated by Jane Seymour, the film tackles the global water crisis from all angles, while the 2008 sequel, The American Southwest: Are We Running Dry? focuses on domestic water shortages.
- “Poisoned Waters” - For a look at how the water crisis affects the US closer to home, try the PBS documentary Poisoned Waters. The film showcases the cleanliness and health of Puget Sound and the Chesapeake Bay and uses them as barometers for the overall quality of the nation’s fishing areas–then explains why clean water is such a critical part of our lives and those of our marine life. It’s a solid reminder that having enough water won’t help if that water isn’t clean and safe.
- “Dead in the Water” - This CBS documentary explores how powerful companies have tired to privatize water around the world
- “Watershed” - This CBC series takes an in depth look at the many ways water flows through everything we do and how a twist of the tap influences global politics, international economics and the ecology of the entire planet.
- “The Water Haulers” - This documentary explores the challenges facing the Navajo Nation in the USA, a population of 70,000 without access to running water
Relevant Research and Articles:
Water, Health and Sanitation
- “Groundwater Shock: The Polluting of the World’s Major Freshwater Stores”, World Watch Magazine, January/February 2000, Vol. 13, No. 1, Available at: http://www.worldwatch.org/node/481
Water in the West
- “Will Dam Removal in the West Restore Salmon?”, Anne Minard, National Geographic News, July 25, 2011, Available at: http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2011/07/110725-/salmon-california-dam-klamath-river-water/
- “Warming to Blame for Water Crisis in the U.S. West?”, Tasha Eichenseher, National Geographic News, June 9, 2011, Available at http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2011/06/110609-global-warming-rocky-mountain-colorado-snowpack-melting/
Privatization and Multinational Corporations
- “Privatizing Water”, World Watch Magazine, January/February 2003, Vol. 16, No. 1, Available at http://www.worldwatch.org/node/610
- “Water Wars”, Erica Gles, World Watch Magazine, March/April, Vol. 22, No. 2, Available at: http://www.worldwatch.org/node/6009
Rivers of Conflict
- “India and Pakistan at Odds Over Shrinking Indus River”, William Wheeler, National Geographic News, October 12, 2011, Available at http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2011/10/111012-india-pakistan-indus-river-water/
- “Water and Peace”, Gidon Bromberg, World Watch Magazine, July/August 2003, Vol. 17, No. 4, Available at http://www.worldwatch.org/node/550
General Water Research
- “The Global Water Footprint of Key Crops”, National Geographic, Available at http://environment.nationalgeographic.com/environment/freshwater/global-water-footprint/
- “Appropriating the Water, A Human Thirst”, Don Hinrichsen, World Watch Magazine, January/February 2003, Vol. 16, No. 1, Available at http://www.worldwatch.org/node/527
- “Water: A Special Issue”, National Geographic Special Issue, Available at http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2010/04/table-of-contents
Tips and Tools to Reduce Your Water Footprint
- “Water Footprint Calculator”, National Geographic, Available at http://environment.nationalgeographic.com/environment/freshwater/water-footprint-calculator/
- “What You Can Do”, National Geographic, Available at http://environment.nationalgeographic.com/environment/freshwater/top-ten/
- “Water Conservation Tips”, National Geographic, Available at http://environment.nationalgeographic.com/environment/freshwater/water-conservation-tips/
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